Balfour gets 3 life sentences in Hudson murders

July 24, 2012 (CHICAGO)

William Balfour received three consecutive life sentences in the 2008 murders of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson; brother, Jason Hudson; and nephew, Julian King, 7.

Gregory King, Julian's father, read a victim's impact statement during the sentencing hearing.

"A chunk of my heart was ripped out. I felt hopeless," King said. "William Balfour took my chance to make new memories with my son . . . I will never understand William Balfour's senseless acts...I will never understand this."

In 2008, Donerson, 57, was shot in the back in the family's home. Hudson's brother, Jason, was shot in his bed. And Julian was taken from the family's Englewood home. His body was found days later; he'd been shot twice.

Balfour was married to Hudson's sister, Julia, and even lived with the family for a time. But jealousy apparently fueled the violence against the family. Balfour spoke during the hearing.

"My condolences go out to the family. My deepest sympathies go to Julian King. I loved him. I still love him," Balfour said.

Jennifer and Julia Hudson wept quietly as Judge Charles Burns issued Balfour's sentence.

"Your soul is barren. How could you commit these crimes against people you lived with is beyond me," Judge Burns said.

The judge gave Balfour the maximum allowance sentence -- three consecutive life sentences for the murders plus 120 years for the home invasion, car theft and aggravated kidnapping.

The judge cited Balfour's criminal history as reason for the sentence. Balfour had three felony convictions including stealing this man's car and leading police on a 45 minute chase in 1998 while the car owner was holding on the roof of the car.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez issued a statement after the sentencing that read, in part, "This significant sentence is appropriate given the heinous and inhumane nature of these crimes which demanded the full force of justice."

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